The Italian city of Cremona — the world capital of violin making — hosted the Stradivari Music Festival from 24 September to 9 October 2016 with the support of the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation. The main venue was the Giovanni Arvedi Auditorium, located inside the Violin Museum, which holds a collection of valuable musical instruments crafted by Amati, Stradivari and Guarneri.
For two weeks, Cremona — which was once the workshop for Amati, Stradivari, Guarneri and Ruggieri — was transformed into a stage for the performances of famous artists, mixing musical genres and styles, entertainment, and performances for children.
The festival’s main message was to destroy stereotypes in music and combine the virtuoso performance of classical music pieces with the pleasure of spontaneous improvisation.
The festival’s guests were met by a symbiosis of Baroque and XX century Romantic classical music, presented in a mix of crossover, jazz, and gipsy tunes.
The Stradivari Festival became the stage for such artists as Fabio Biondi and his Europa Galante ensemble, Avishai Cohen, Leonidas Kavakos and Enrico Pace, Geza Hosszu Legock and the Virtuosos of Bohemia Orchestra, and Nigel Kennedy.
One of the highlights of the Stradivari Festival was Vadim Repin’s concert — one of the greatest contemporary violinists — which took place on 1 October 2016. Together with pianist Andrei Korobeynikov, and playing a 1733 violin by Antonio Stradivari, the Russian musician performed the greatest works of Claude Debussy, Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, and Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
Vadim Repin, the winner of the prestigious French national prize Les Victoires de la Musique Classique and the founder and artistic director of the Trans-Siberian Art Festival, called the Stradivari Festival a landmark event, and his participation in it as highly symbolic. “The violin I play belongs to the hand of Stradivari. It’s very symbolic to bring it back home, to its roots, as the saying goes,” he said.
The Stradivari Festival also hosted performances by such famous Russian musicians as violinist Pavel Vernikov, violinist Viktoria Mullova, cellist Natalia Gutman, and pianist Alexander Melnikov, all representatives of the traditions of the Russian performing school.
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